Talen Horton-Tucker is only 20 years old in his second NBA season with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he has already begun to make headlines. Usually, players his age and experience level don’t get playing time on a championship contender led by Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
However, Horton-Tucker has quickly proven he is more than capable of playing rotation minutes. The Lakers selected him with the 46th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, which largely went unnoticed.
Thought not for James, who alerted agent Rich Paul after watching Horton-Tucker in high school. Paul has gone on to represent the youngster as well.
Davis, on the other hand, had barely heard of Horton-Tucker, despite also being from Chicago. “I don’t really follow that much basketball, to be honest, so I heard of him but I didn’t really pay attention or anything like that,” Davis revealed.
“I’m from Chicago, so I hear about a lot of the kids coming out of Chicago, a lot of names. But I never really watched him play. When the Lakers drafted him and he signed with Klutch, Rich and some other people told me about him, so then I went back and watched highlights and stuff like that. I was like, ‘Oh, we got a steal.’
“To be honest, I didn’t really know too much about him. But I know a lot about him now, for sure.”
Horton-Tucker was relatively unknown on draft night, but there had been some rumblings that the Lakers getting him at No. 46 was a steal. Only a year later, it’s definitely understandable why some people claiming as much.
Davis and James have been particularly complementary of their young teammate, and it has allowed him to gain minutes and become a part of the regular rotation, despite the immense depth that L.A. has.
James impressed by Horton-Tucker being a sponge
As the person who discovered Horton-Tucker in high school, James has gone out of his way to praise the second-year wing. He spoke about what makes Horton-Tucker so great at this stage of his career is a willingness to learn.
“He does it on both sides of the floor and he just listens. He’s a sponge. Whatever you say to him, he’s going to accept it and then apply it right away,” James said.
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